BackChannel Visits BlueSky

[box type=”shadow”]The BackChannel Film Crew This is the lucky 13th edition of BackChannel, our collaboration with with Lakeland-based NFocus, producer of feature films, corporate videos, commercials, events and more. Our mission is to provide exciting and interactive video features that highlight upcoming events, new places, and fun activities for the college age and young professional […]

BackChannel is Back & They’re at 360 Unlimited

This week the BackChannel crew visits 360 Unlimited in Dixieland. [box type=”shadow”]The BackChannel Film Crew This is the tenth edition of BackChannel, our collaboration with with Lakeland-based NFocus, producer of feature films, corporate videos, commercials, events and more. Our mission is to provide exciting and interactive video features that highlight upcoming events, new places, and […]

BackChannel Visits Mitchell’s Coffee House

If you’re looking for someone before the work day starts, just stop at Mitchell’s Coffee Shop. It’s Lakeland’s “Place to Be” in the morning. The BackChannel crew stopped by to learn more about this Lakeland tradition. Evidently, it’s also a good place to study… [box type=”shadow”]The BackChannel Film Crew This is the seventh edition of […]

Flying Tiger GM Named Fl State League Executive of the Year

Yesterday, the Florida State League, a Class A division of Major League Baseball, named Zach Burek Executive of the Year for 2010.

20100904-266  Zach Edit
Burek led the team to a new single-season attendance record for the Flying Tigers. 64,010 fans filed into Joker Marchant Stadium for the 2010 season, surpassing the 61,255 record set in 1987.

“I am very honored and humbled to be recognized by a league with such great history and tradition as the Florida State League” commented Burek. “This award is a credit to the hard work and passion of our entire staff.” 2010 marked Burek’s tenth season with the Detroit Tiger’s organization and his fifth as the Flying Tigers GM.

The Lakeland club has been a Detroit Tigers affiliate since 1967, the second longest consecutive affiliation in Major League Baseball. The team moved into Joker Marchant Stadium 45 years ago.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Tom Hagerty for Lakeland Local

You’re Invited

ABWA 20th Anniversary CelebrationThe Lakeland Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association has invited Lakelanders to their Mini Business Expo on Thursday, Feb. 25, from 5:30pm – 7:30pm at the Riverside Bank 4400 South Florida Avenue. The Expo promises to focus on “all the things you need for success, health, education, family, community and happiness.” There’s no charge for the event and refreshments will be served. RSVP to

Fools and Their Money: Brian Wesbury Edition

It’s my favorite time of the year. The Lakeland Chamber on Thursday will host its 23rd annual Economic Forecast Breakfast, in which our city’s luminaries cough up $25 a head to hear macroeconomic predictions from this guy: Back by popular demand, Brian Wesbury will offer his perspective on the national economy. Mr. Wesbury is one […]

Have Laptop, Will Travel

For those who may not know, Lakeland Local is not-for-profit. That’s what happens when you don’t see out subscribers or advertisers.

It doesn’t cost as much as putting out main stream media, but I’ve been content to cover the cost of publishing. However, writing for this new media is a solitary life for the most part.

I’ve worked out of my home office since arriving in Lakeland, and frankly, the view has grown stale.

Lakeland Police Change Beats

The Lakeland Police Department is changing their beats to improve officer assignment and response flexibility. In the past, LPD utilized smaller single officer assigned beats. Two or three officers will be assigned to each of the new zones. LPD Lieutenant Jody Sisson, who participated in the remapping project, says the new beats allow officers to work together in between calls to target problem areas.

CSX Deal: Relic of a [For Now] Bygone Era

In this economy, CSX will not lightly walk away from more than $600 million in cash and system improvements, liability or no. FDOT probably still wants to hand that money over to the company. In fact, it’s already done so to some degree in the form of ongoing overpass improvements in north central Florida. Buddy Dyer is out begging for $20,000 in legal expense money so lawyers can try to figure out a way around the senate. Democracy in action. (Funny that with all the money spent on John Thrasher and other uber lobbyists during the session, Dyer is reduced to panhandling for this. You would think GrayRobinson would just pick it up for him.) Anyway, this isn’t over. But it’s worth taking a moment for some post mortem thoughts before this deal reveals itself as the undead zombie vampire that we fear it might be.

Goodman Talks Business Incubators

I once had the pleasure of being a guest on the radio program “The Power of Knowledge.” Hosted by Dr. Marshall Goodman, VP and CEO of the University of South Florida Polytechnic, explores the state of education and other topics each Sunday morning at 11:30 on WLKF-AM 1430. This week Dr. Goodman will discuss “business […]

Social Media: What is it? How can it help your business?

If you read Lakeland Local by visiting the site*, you’ve seen the tab labeled “Lakeland Short Reports.” I post those short reports using a tool called Twitter.

If you’ve not heard of it, just imagine instant messaging that has broken free of the one-to-one restriction. It’s one of the tools in a style of communication lumped together as “social media.*” The gist of social media is a style of communication that is not bound by outdated methods of publication restricted to practitioners who “buy ink by the barrel.” In other words, the same communication we’ve had all along, but now you can reach greater numbers.

Sufficiently confused? Read more inside….

A “Real Live Pink Bat” Gets A Shot

Yesterday, Norine Rathbone had her wish. She tried out for the Detroit Tigers with a couple of hundred men, and no one treated her like a lady. “It was so much better than I expected. They were ballplayers who treated me as another ballplayer,” Rathbone said after the full day tryouts at Joker Merchant Stadium….

Annual Holiday Merchandise Sale at Joker Marchant

Every year the fine folks at the Joker Marchant Stadium Merchandise Store make it easy for my family to buy me Christmas presents. This year the sale kicks off Saturday, December 6, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

What will you find?: “Select Detroit Tigers, Spring Training and Flying Tigers merchandise up to 50 percent off the regular retail price. Discounted items include the Flying Tigers military style caps as well as Detroit Tigers fitted caps. Vintage Lakeland Tigers and All-Star merchandise will be available at cost.”

The full dates for the sale:

Goodfellas Grill Stolen

Goodfellas GrillYou might recognize this grill from our August feature on Goodfellas Grills. If you see it parked behind a neighbor’s house you might want to give the police a call.

Denis Baldwin, owner of Goodfellas Grills, reported the grill stolen yesterday. Baldwin said a neighbor saw a suspicious truck around 6 am. Baldwin said the neighbor reported three men guys got out of the truck. It appears they merely busted the look, hooked up the grill and drove off with it.